Job Search & Networking

This week I attended a national conference for nurse practitioners (NCNP 2017).  The original intent was to learn the newest guidelines on common ailments I encounter in primary care practice. However, with recent events, I found myself in need of networking to see about locating a new employer.  Here’s what I found…

Being outright honest about why I parted ways with my previous employer was refreshing to both parties.  I did not bash the folks I used to work for.  Instead, I quickly noted our disagreement and stated I enjoyed working for the previous company and would miss them but things did not work out as I had hoped.  It was truthful and heartfelt.  Speaking negatively about a previous employer, even when, by many accounts is could have been justified, would have been poor form.  It is not in my character.  My grandfather used to tell me the only two things people can’t take away from you are your character and your education.  He was right then and that statement continues to hold true today.

Another thing I found was that the nurse practitioners I met from around the country were engaged in refreshing their knowledge. They enjoyed networking with others regardless of geographic origin as much as I did.  I’ve picked up a few words in another language which has been fun, too.  It is apparent the days in which health care providers earn their license and then practice the same way year after year until they retire some decades later are gone. NPs are vested in their patients’ health and wellness.  That entails constant refresher courses as guidelines for every major and minor disease, ailment, and injury change faster than they can be printed.

It’s been the type of week which reinforces why I became a nurse practitioner.  I have met other NPs who also strive to do the best they can to do right by their patients.  I’ve also picked up clinical pearls, those tid bits of information which successfully guide medical decisions to help my patients recover or cope with medical illnesses.

When I return home tomorrow, I will get on the plane as a better NP, have more friends, and maybe, just maybe, a new job in the pipeline.  I sure do hope so.

If no job materializes, I know God will have the right job waiting at the right time just for me.  It’s kind of like a prescription for medication, follow the right  steps and then wait and in time things will work out just fine.


Those who are supposed to care

Sometimes we as health care practitioners (HCPs)are the ones who are ill or injured.  When that occurs, we generally believe the other HCPs around us, and particularly, those whom we work so hard for, will treat us with caring respect. For some HCPs, especially some employers, that is simply not going to happen regardless of the nature of the injury.  Large facility employers have adequate policies in force to protect both the employer from lollygaggers and the employee from heartless owners who purposefully disregard obvious painful, debilitating injuries.  Smaller places of practical care often  have policies which evolve spontaneously, usually to the benefit of the employer.  It is not until times of such disability that employers reveal what type of wizard is truly behind the curtain.

In the course of our employed lives, which accounts for roughly 70% of our time on this earth, realizing that our employer is not the wonderful, caring being we had believed them to be.  The slow realization that the previously beloved employer is focused only on money production can be agonizing.

After much thought, two end products should result when the employees care more about each other than the employer could ever claim in front of the Almighty.  First, the injured practitioner should give swift, adequate, professional notice.  Save yourself.  In order to be the best NP one can be, it is an absolute necessity to care for oneself and about oneself.  Working for any practice that only treats employees well when those employees are, um, well, is like continuing to date someone after they have shown themselves to be untrustworthy.  Save yourself.

The second end result should be to evaluate future employers more carefully.  Weigh smaller versus larger practices.  Ask about written policy handbooks.  And what to expect if policies are overhauled.  Are employees grandfathered?  It is important to know.  Save yourself from jumping too fast. 70% can be a long, long time.

Sadly, finding out how an employer treats injured employees is often something we understand after the process has started.  Worse is that this has to be written about at all.  Our society has become so completely romanticized with the PC of everything that it is difficult to understand how any employer can be so callous as to watch an employee physically suffer day after day and then verbally and policy-driven attack them.

However, if you are genuinely kind, truly and authentically kind to co-workers and patients, rest assured those fine people will be tremendously supportive right through to the last-minute of the last day.  And that, my friends, is why being honest and kind triumphs over hardened money-driven hearts every single time.